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Court orders Binance to disclose traders’ data over money laundering concerns

Federal High Court Ruling Prompts Crypto Exchange to Provide Information on Nigerian Users Following EFCC Motion

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has instructed Binance Holdings Limited to furnish the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with detailed information regarding Nigerian individuals engaged in trading on its platform.

The court’s directive, issued in response to an ex parte motion filed by the EFCC, mandates Binance to provide comprehensive data on Nigerian traders utilizing its platform. The motion, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2024 and dated February 29, was filed by the anti-graft agency citing provisions of relevant legislation, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Establishment Act, 2004, and the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

In an affidavit supporting the motion, EFCC operative Hamma Bello outlined concerns over potential money laundering and terrorism financing activities on Binance. Bello highlighted the commission’s surveillance efforts, which revealed instances of price manipulation and market distortions leading to the depreciation of the naira against other currencies.

The interim order, granted by Justice Emeka Nwite on February 29, compels Binance to furnish the EFCC with comprehensive data pertaining to Nigerian traders on its platform. This ruling underscores the court’s commitment to facilitating the EFCC’s investigation into alleged illicit activities involving cryptocurrency transactions.

Binance, an online exchange specializing in cryptocurrency trading, has come under scrutiny following reports of substantial fund flows through its platform without adequate oversight. Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Olayemi Cardoso disclosed that over $26 billion had been channeled through Binance without proper traceability over the past year.

Reports emerged that two Binance executives were arrested and detained upon arrival in Nigeria, following a ban on the company’s website. The Financial Times reported on February 28 regarding the executives’ detention, signaling heightened regulatory scrutiny surrounding cryptocurrency exchanges in Nigeria.

As regulatory authorities intensify efforts to combat financial crimes associated with cryptocurrency transactions, the court’s order to Binance marks a significant development in the ongoing investigation into illicit activities within the digital asset space.

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